Disney CEO Bob Iger is clamping down on remote workers.
Iger, who recently returned to Disney’s helm after a brief hiatus, ordered employees to return to corporate offices four days a week beginning March 1. In an email sent to employees obtained by CNN, he said that employees work better together in-person. The memo was first obtained by CNBC.
“As I’ve been meeting with teams throughout the company over the past few months, I’ve been reminded of the tremendous value in being together with the people you work with,” Iger wrote in the memo. “In a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors.”
He said that employees will have to be in offices from Monday to Thursday.
Iger returned to Disney in November 2022, replacing predecessor Bob Chapek after a tumultuous, brief tenure. In a recent town hall, Iger discussed multiple problems facing the company, including Disney’s current hiring freeze and large losses attributed to the Disney+ streaming platform. He also highlighted his No. 1 priority as he takes back the reins: creativity.
Many large companies are enforcing strict back-to-work edicts after remote work became commonplace during the first couple years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Apple, for example, has called for its corporate workers to be in the office at least three days a week, sparking tensions with some of its staffers. Snapchat’s parent company recently asked workers to return to the office 80% of the time, or the equivalent of four days a week, beginning in February.
Workers may have less leverage to push back amid a growing number of mass layoffs.
After billionaire Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter closed, he quickly fired more than 50% of the social platform’s staff and reversed course on the company’s flexible remote-work policy.
However, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy isn’t looking to force the company’s workers back into the office anytime soon saying in September 2022 that it “doesn’t have a plan to require people to come back.”
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